By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Two-time ABA champion and All-Star Brian Taylor came on the podcast to take us through the significant stops he has had in his basketball career. From being quite the pioneer at Princeton and a New York Net in the ABA to fun times with the San Diego Clippers, Brian told many great stories throughout our conversation.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:30 – Having some very good advisors who positively influenced him, Sports Illustrated’s piece “The Black Athlete“, choosing to attend Princeton University, Bob McAdoo teasing him about an 84-point game in high school;
09:40 – The 1971 Pan American Games being a hurtful memory due to not advancing and despite being the leading scorer on the USA team;
13:40 – Some of the difficulties he faced at Princeton, returning to university after the pro career to finish his degree, coach Pete Carril and a Princeton host family helping him through those times;
20:15 – Meeting Lou Carnesecca at a hotel even before the ABA draft, making the decision to go pro with the New York Nets, initially having Bill Melchionni and John Roche ahead of him in the rotation, winning the Rookie of the Year award;
27:45 – Being ejected from a game in which Memphis Tams fans heaped debris on the court, meeting Isaac Hayes, being nervous at first about his position on the team once Julius Erving was acquired, Erving as a fabulous human being, becoming great friends with him;
37:45 – The young Nets core that won two titles, the fast ABA guys entering the NBA, Kansas City acquiring Brian Taylor over Tiny Archibald and him proving his worth, contract disputes, landing on Gene Shue‘s Clippers alongside World B. Free;
46:15 – A very fun Clippers team with all kinds of characters, coach Shue encouraging him to take 3-pointers, the petition the ABA players sent to the NBA about their unfair pension plan;
58:35 – Trivia question about the 1976 ABA Finals, Brian responding to Kevin Loughery‘s criticism by locking down the very hot Ticky Burden (again and again), a fight against George Karl and a clutch play in the ’76 Nets – Spurs series.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Brian for coming on the show and injecting The Handle Podcast with such a positive mood!